Friday, February 25, 2011

El Elyon, El Shaddai

The devotion at the bottom caught my eye because of the word "El Elyon". And "El Elyon" caught my eye because last week no one in my bible study group could answer me what "El Shaddai" meant! We could actually study the names of God in Hebrew to understand his nature better. I later found out El Shaddai meant "God Almighty". There's a famous song written by Michael Card and John Thompson that goes...

El Shaddai, El Shaddai (God Almighty, God Almighty)
El Elyon na Adonai (God Most High, O Lord)
Erkamka na Adonai (I love you, O Lord)

YouTube movie Amy Grant singing El Shaddai

Now more about El Elyon...may you be blessed by the devotion from

The Bridge

I don’t know if you have ever been over one of those very high bridges across a mountain pass or a rushing river. Maybe you have had to clamber across the ceiling of a high building on what is called a catwalk, high above the floor below. I used to have a good head for heights and at one time in my life had to drive a tower crane, which meant stepping from the ladder in the tower structure out into the cab which was suspended from the jib across quite a gap, many metres above the ground. Not nowadays!

As a team we have been looking at the various names of God and I came across the reference in Genesis 14:18 where Melchizadek is referred to as the priest of ‘God Most High’ – El-Elyon, a name not often used of God. I found this a helpful name however, as it is easy to reduce God the Father down do a near-human level. Because we have the privilege of intimacy through Jesus, we can tend to forget that God is still El-Elyon, the ‘Most High God’. Perhaps that is because such a High God could seem too ‘inaccessible hid from our eyes’ as the old hymn goes.

How good it is that God Himself has made the bridge linking us created beings here on earth to the ‘Most High’. 1 Timothy 2 reminds us that part of the role of Jesus is to be the mediator, the go-between, or the bridge between that ‘high and lifted up’ One and ourselves. Through all generations mankind has been seeking to construct bridges to God, but they never work because they can’t reach God. However, by God starting from His end, a successful bridge was established, in the person of Jesus Christ.

The challenge to us all is to walk across that rather slender connection in our daily living. The difficulty is that the way is not horizontal, the bridge slopes upwards! In order to proceed we need a daily appreciation of the ‘most high-ness’ of God – as we keep looking up, a living relationship with Jesus the Mediator, and an awareness of where we’ve come from, so that we take nothing for granted.
God is the ‘Most High’, and worthy of all our praise and loving worship, but He invites us to approach Him by ascending into the heights with Jesus, who stands firmly with us in our earthly experiences, whilst at the same time lifting us into the presence of the Father.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for being the bridge through whom we can come into the very presence of ‘God Most High’. Please help us to walk with You, looking upwards every day rather than being fixated on the problems of this life. Amen.

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